So here we are – the first edition. We will do this for as long as the questions and requests come in!
Apologies if we don’t answer you directly, we try and get round to everyone!
Question 1 –
Does having a BA OnBusiness Account help with upgrades?
An interesting question to start! Short answer – no.
BA use a module in FLY (the flight management system) called DUT (discretionary upgrade tool) to decide upgrades before, and on the day. Sadly the algorithm is unknown. I wonder why?! 😉 However, my own knowledge and experience would tend to suggest being on an OB ticket or having an OB account would make no difference to DUT.
Question 2 –
I am flying back from Johannesburg with BA on an A380 in World Traveller Plus. I am a Bronze card holder but will be in rural Zimbabwe so imagine there won’t be any way of accessing 7-day seat choice. Taking a look at the website it looks full. I am thinking that there is no point in paying for 66F (the only ok seat) when some gold and silver may be upgraded, so there may be some better seats available at check in… Photo below.
Any advice/ tips appreciated… could there be any more seats to be released.??
Always remember – what BA.com shows you on the seating map, is likely not true/accurate. Especially the lower down the status tiers you go. Certain seats are blocked next to Gold cardholders or blocked entirely for Gold cardholders or people with infants.
The best way is to check the seat map on ExpertFlyer – you can do this via the free apps for Android and iOS. This will show you the true picture including which seats are blocked rather than being available to book. More seats are normally released 72 hours before and at online check-in.
Theoretical seating is a huge machine in its own right, but long story short – it will show you the seats BA want you to have. I’ll go into it in more detail soon.
Question 3 –
I’m wondering if you have an article or experience around using Avios to travel around South America? I’ve done some research and there is a LATAM air pass but not sure if this is good value or better to use Avios on individual flights. Any comparison with cash like the article today would be fantastic!
Very good question – South America is on my hit list. I do however have a good friend who I asked, and this was his reply –
The air pass is very beneficial as it provides flex at discounted walk-up rates. It’s handy if you want to just pick a destination at random to go to and they can tweak the ticket. It’s basically a fully flex at a discount with some other rules such as no backtrack etc. visit Tohoku fare for Japan is the same thing. The downside is the rate you pay cash wise is by distance so good value in Japan where it’s small, terrible value for South America as it’s so large.. however, airfare between South American countries is horrendous. (redacted the last sentence – but apparently Avios bank favours are common on LA redemptions!) – Thanks, Craig 🙂
So? Look at your routing, and compare both – but it sounds like Avios is generally always cheaper.
You can also have a read of Claudio’s guide to flying to and around South America.